Good CMS for community website?
July 5, 2013 5:04 AM   Subscribe

I am setting up a website for an online research community. I want to be able to host internal and external documents, audio/video, allow collaborative editing, manage mailing lists and help members of the site find others with similar interests. I don't have a lot of money. Open source software would be ideal.

Boonex seems to do a lot of what I want, and looks attractive also, but on closer examination, it is not as free as it seems on the surface. I have some familiarity with sites like Drupal and Joomla! but these are not easy to use for the novice.

Does anyone have experience with suitable software, or tools that I should avoid?

(There are similar questions but all are old.)
posted by Grinder to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
There's a variant of WordPress called BuddyPress, and I know that an academic group is using it extensively and has even written add-ons for it.

I'll be watching this thread closely -- I just set up BuddyPress a while ago, but haven't had a chance to try it much. It was extremely easy to set up, though.
posted by amtho at 6:36 AM on July 5, 2013

The big one would be Drupal, but it has a really steep learning curve. Not sure what your level of coding experience is, but when it comes with managing lots of members, its the way to go I feel.

Drupal is able to do anything, but with that comes the cost of a steep learning curve.

It is open srouce, allows collaborative editing, hosts documetns, and has good mailing lists management.
posted by timmytacobean at 8:03 AM on July 5, 2013

amtho, I have heard of BuddyPress and it also seems a good option.

timmytacobean, I have significant coding experience but no longer have the time to spend a lot of time hacking, and my users will not use anything as complex as Drupal. I know it can do everything I need but it's not suitable for the resources that we have.
posted by Grinder at 8:17 AM on July 5, 2013

ExpressionEngine is great, but like all CMS, has a learning curve. You'll spend around $500 for a copy + the add-ons you need to make is sing.

A big benefit here is that while you'll have to learn its template language, you can do a lot without writing PHP.
posted by 4midori at 10:43 AM on July 5, 2013

A combination of a wiki and a mailing list seems like it would work better than a regular CMS. Mediawiki is free. You could set up a Google Group. Reference shared dropboxes.
posted by wolfr at 2:34 PM on July 5, 2013

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